Online Exclusive Article
Open Access Article

Enhancing Recruitment and Retention in Randomized Clinical Trials of Cancer Symptom Management

Ann M. Berger

Donna Edwards Neumark

Julie Chamberlain

clinical trials, symptom management
ONF 2007, 34(2), E17-E22. DOI: 10.1188/07.ONF.E17-E22

Purpose/Objectives: To describe techniques to overcome challenges of collaborating with multiple clinical sites and participants to enhance recruitment and retention for cancer symptom management randomized clinical trials (RCTs).

Data Sources: Personal experiences and publications related to recruitment and retention of sites and participants in RCTs, which were found by searching MEDLINE®, CINAHL®, and PsycINFO records.

Data Synthesis: Techniques to overcome challenges related to multisite research, patient confidentiality guidelines, and work with an at-risk population were identified and applied successfully in an RCT designed to modify fatigue during and following adjuvant breast cancer chemotherapy.

Conclusions: Successful recruitment and retention depended on the value that site personnel placed on symptom management research, identification of a designated contact person at each site, and flexibility in maintaining communication among the project director, contact individuals, and participants.

Implications for Nursing: Initial and ongoing collaboration with participants and a contact person at each site, assurance of privacy of protected health information, and emotional support are critical to recruitment and retention throughout cancer symptom management RCTs.

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